Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Book Review – The New Kings of Nonfiction

The New Kings of NonfictionThe New Kings of Nonfiction by Ira Glass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I started working on this book several months ago. I enjoyed picking it up and reading a chapter, but that's all it was, just a chapter.

The book is a collection of independent stories, compiled by Ira Glass, to indicate that today's author's are just as strong as what we had a decades ago (as he explains in his prologue). I struggled getting through the book because there was no reason to continue each chapter.. no storylines to follow, no characters to track, no arc to complete.

So why the 5 stars? Because each chapter is that.. damn.. good. OK, I take that back. The early stories were interesting. I mean.. really interesting. Acid\Tar pits and a class action law suit - and the compelling nature on why it's not always the big corporations that are evil; An expert painter toiling in anonymity an the bizarre circumstance that caused the world to recognize his works - these works were very well done and I liked them.

As the book went on, the stories only got stronger and stronger. The final 4-5 chapters, I simply could not stop reading. "Losing the war" - a piece on what our war veterans have experienced compared to what we think they experienced - was heart wrenching but beautiful. Another chapter was a self written essay about someone who experienced first hand the World Series of Poker. He wrote with such detail and emotion, my heart was racing as if I was playing myself. Possibly my favorite was another piece on the "life" of a news radio DJ, how their news cycle works, how the PC world conflicts with a sometimes semi-non PC point of view, and how it affects the occupation.

As the stories went on and on, they got stronger and stronger. I typically like to read non-fiction to open my mind to a different concept, reality, or perspective. This book didn't really achieve that (on the whole anyway), but it was absolutely enjoyable to page through and read the works of some fantastic authors.

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